Every day Brian Druker, M.D., imagines the possibilities as JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Cancer Institute. He will continue to "Imagine the Possibilities" when he serves as Grand Marshal for the Southwest Airlines Grand Floral Parade on Saturday, June 8.
Rose Festival President Eldon Tichenor chose this year's Grand Marshal and officially announced the honor at OHSU on Tuesday, April 30 in the Mark O. Hatfield Research Center. "Dr. Druker is a wonderful asset to our community and was a natural choice for our festival theme," said Tichenor. "We are proud to honor him as our 2002 Grand Marshal."
Druker, professor of medicine (cell and developmental biology and biochemistry and molecular biology) in the OHSU School of Medicine, is best known for his leading role in the development of Gleevec, a pill that effectively fights chronic myelogenous leukemia and is the model for cancer therapies of the future. As a physician, Druker led the clinical trials of the drug and has treated more than 250 patients from around the world with Gleevec. More than 50,000 patients have now been treated with Gleevec worldwide.
His role in the development of Gleevec, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in May 2001, and its application in the clinic have resulted in numerous awards for Druker including the AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award, the John J. Kenney Award of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the Warren Alpert Foundation Scientific Prize of the Alpert Foundation/Harvard Medical School.
"Each year the selection of a Grand Marshal represents the rich qualities of our community's character and values. No one exemplifies these traits more than Dr. Druker," said Darrel Buttice, Grand Floral Parade Committee Chair. "Honoring a person of Dr. Druker's stature is an honor for all of us associated with the Grand Floral Parade."